Category Archives: Temptation

Seduced to the Rocks

Proverbs 7:16-17

“I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.”

Being Seduced 

Proverbs 7 immerses the reader in the imagery of temptation, but with a clear focus on seduction. This has already been described as a spider weaving a web and trapping unsuspecting prey. Seduction could be compared with the mythological sirens of the ancient world luring seafarers to shipwreck and inevitable death. But seduction begins in many ways, not necessarily with the enchanting song of a siren. Is there any difference between temptation, attraction, chemistry, or however else we try to excuse our failure to resist? For many it will not be a prostitute in a bar or on a street corner, but a colleague at work, possibly even a fellow worshipper at church.

Innocence?

It may begin in innocence. A little voice inside says “I like this person” or “here is someone who understands me.” The Christian movie Fireproof demonstrates the process perfectly as the wife of the fire chief finds herself increasingly drawn to a doctor colleague at the hospital where she works.

Obvious

Seduction should be obvious. The trouble is that something breaks in the human mind when seduction comes along, and the capacity to think logically disappears. Seduction robs us of our natural ability to avoid danger, and the song of the sirens draws us closer and closer to the rocks. The closer you get to the rocks, the more inevitable the shipwreck becomes. The trouble is that dangerous rocks are often shrouded in mist and difficult to see.

Shipwrecked

I played on the rocks as a child. But further offshore there were hidden reefs where vessels bound for the English Channel periodically ran aground. These were rocks where seafarers lost their lives. A few years later when serving at sea myself I dreaded the thought of putting a ship aground, but thought nothing of the dangers of the dockside bars when going ashore.

You may never have entered a dockside bar. You may never have been tempted by attraction to a co-worker in your daily life, or at church. You may think that the words of Proverbs 7 are an exaggeration, and that this part of God’s Word does not apply in your case. But it does. Every word of Scripture is there for a reason. If you don’t need to draw on this wisdom now, you may need to do so in the future. If you remember nothing else remember that failure to listen to God will lead to shipwreck. Almost all shipwrecks are caused by human error. Innocence is not an excuse. The rocks are charted. You are equipped to avoid them. Go too close and you will go aground.

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Brazen Church Girl

Proverbs 7:13-15

“So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.”

One of the greatest myths is that all church-going girls are “good” girls. These verses are a good example. Not only has this woman been waiting in the dark for her prey, she is openly religious, and uses her surface piety to lure the fool. But let’s break down these verses one at a time.

“So she caught him, and kissed him..”

Look who is the aggressor; it’s not the man. Conventional wisdom (not godly wisdom) has taught us that men are always the aggressor and that women should be wary. However, there are plenty of young women, as young as middle school, who know exactly what they want, and how to get it. Consider the words of this mother…

“I have a very outgoing, charming, attractive 15-year-old son. I have literally been chasing the girls away from the door ever since the seventh grade. … The aggressiveness and promiscuity of young girls nowadays is beyond words. Their dress is so alluring and inviting to a young man, what’s a guy to do? Moreover, what’s a mom to do?” (source, Family Life Today)

“Impudent face…”

It is amazing how people can look you right in the eye and tell a bold-face lie. That is what this woman was doing. The Hebrew word translated here as “impudent” could also be translated as brazen. She just looked this naive boy in the face and told him what he wanted to hear.

“Peace offerings…vows…found thee.” 

It is obvious in verses 14 and 15 that something doesn’t add up. Why is it that a woman of the night would be telling this young man about how she went to church? Oh, it’s pretty simple, really. She was just saying what a good Jewish boy wanted to hear.

Here was the total, irresistible package: a young, gorgeous and religious woman calling out to be rescued from breaking the Law. “I am so glad I found you! You’re the answer to my prayers! This must be God’s will,” she essentially said.

In the Old Testament, when a peace offering was made, the leftover meat was to be eaten that night, and no later (Lev. 7:15). She presented her case in such a way that said, “We have to do this now!” She played to his religious chivalry.

When this woman grabbed the man, kissed him, lied to him, and trapped him, she did it with everything that said: “This must be a good girl – she’s only trying to do the right thing – and she likes me!” I can almost imagine him repeating the words of an old Debbie Boone song, “This can’t be wrong when it feels so right.”

A Prayer

Oh, Lord God, open our eyes to the tricks of the Enemy! Give us the wisdom we need to discern between a treasure far above rubies (Prov. 31:10) and a trap. Help us to teach our sons and daughters to be godly. Help us to be parents who set the example.


Come Into My Parlor

Proverbs 7:12 

“Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.”

Lieth In Wait

I can visualize the following event just like it happened yesterday even though it took place some 31 years ago. I was 7 years old and my parents and brother lived in a two story house right outside of Chattanooga, TN. Our den was located in the basement while all of our bedrooms were upstairs. The evening was coming to an end and so we started to gather up our belongings to take them upstairs. As we began cleaning, I noticed that my father was no where to be found. I didn’t give it another thought and continued to help my mom and brother.

With arms full of blankets and pillows, I made my way up the stairs and started down our hallway. Because this happened during the winter time, it was already dark outside and my arms were full so I could not turn the hallway lights on. I walked about ten feet down the hallway and stopped in my tracks. There was something that was telling me that I should not go any further and that my best bet would be to turn around slowly and go back. I quickly exited the hallway and run to find my mom who was still downstairs.

My mother began to laugh when I told her what just happened.

She explained to me that she was pretty sure that my father was hiding in one of the rooms just waiting for me to walk by so he could scare me (there was never a dull moment in the Sneed household). Sure enough, when I returned upstairs and turned on all of the lights, my father was laying on his stomach on the floor just “lying in wait”.

Her Prey

Solomon is explaining to us that the “strange women” is lying in wait for this man to come by and just like the spider, she is ready to pounce on her prey. She is out on the street, but she is lurking around each corner just waiting for her victim to arrive.

The Take-Away

How many times have we seen it or heard about it? How many times have we seen homes broken up and children being torn apart by a man that has gone off and had an affair?

In today’s society, the “strange women” is ever so prevalent in JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING! The TV, internet, radio, smartphones – she is everywhere and if we are not grounded in the Word of God, we are doomed to fall. That is why Solomon was again telling his son to make sure and keep his commandments!

Men, we must guard ourselves against sin each and every day. We must keep God’s commandments and do our best to obtain wisdom and understanding, so that we can live!

Lord, help us to guard our hearts and minds against anything evil that comes our way. Help us to always be on the lookout for things that are not according to Your Word. Help us to always seek your face each and every day!


Is This You?

Proverbs 7:11

“She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:”

Do you know this kind of person?

Solomon is telling us about that wayward woman, the adulteress. But do you know someone like this?

This is the person who seems to struggle with speaking with an “inside voice” and has to be right … even when they know they are wrong.

This is the person who starts the party … and often ruins it.

This is the person who has hundreds and even thousands of friends … and no one who is close to them.

This is the person who has been in numerous relationships … and either something is wrong with the other person or they are “friends with benefits” … or just “good friends”.

Is this person you?

We have all been this person, in one way or another.

No, we have not all been loud, but we have all been stubborn in some way.

No, we have not all been the partier with numerous “friends” and hook-ups.

We all, however, have yelled at God and known we were justified in our argument.

We all have wandered from God by following our own desires in one way or another.

We all have cheated on God by pursuing something or someone we loved more in one way or another.

Thankfully, God pursues us and quietly waits for us.

Thankfully, He came after us in Jesus Christ.

Lord Jesus, thank You for coming after us and saving us. Help us to pursue You in every moment. Give us the wisdom and guidance to avoid those which can lead us astray, and give us the strength to overcome temptation when we walk into it once again.


He Met a Harlot

Proverbs 7:10

“And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.”

Simple Observations

I am sure that much could be said about this verse, but I would like to make some simple observations.

First Observation. “And, behold, there met him…” Believe it or not, there are some places a man, much more a Christian man, should never go. This applies to the women, also. There are places such as bars, strip clubs, night clubs, and chicken wing places with servers wearing next to nothing, that invite not only temptation, but leave one open to attack.

Notice, the young man went to a place “near her corner,” next to her house, in the dark, and late at night (7:8-9). Folks, when you walk into a spider’s lair, expect her to come out to meet you. She’s looking for you.

Second Observation. “with the attire of a harlot” Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages, there are ways to dress that are decent, and then there are ways to dress that make you look like a hooker. Why is this so hard for some to understand?

The whole idea, here, is that there is a woman on the prowl, and she has dressed herself in such a way to lure a man to his doom. If it didn’t matter how one dressed, then it wouldn’t have meant anything for Solomon to point out the obvious. But Solomon did point out that what this dangerous woman was wearing was typical of her trade.

Men, stay away from any woman who dresses in such a way that intentionally makes your eyes wander. Women, when you dress provocatively, you send a message that is ungodly. Parents, shame on you if you let your little girl leave the house looking like a prostitot!

Third Observation. “subtle of heart” I was curious about the use of the word “subtle.” According to one online dictionary*, “subtle” means “not loud, bright, noticeable or obvious in any way.” This didn’t seem consistent with what I was reading. There’s nothing much “subtle” about a woman who goes out into the dark wearing clothes that look like a harlot. So, I dug deeper.

It seems that the word translated “subtle” is the Hebrew word natsar**, which means “to guard, watch over, keep.” In other words, “subtle of heart” means something like, “you don’t know how hard, cold, and wounded her heart is.” She will never let you know the pain she hides, but she will unleash it on the fool she finds in the dark.

 

*Source: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/subtle

**”Hebrew Lexicon :: H5341 (KJV).” Blue Letter Bible. Accessed 7 Nov, 2013. http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H5341&t=KJV


Related to Wisdom

Proverbs 7:4-5

“Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.”

Related to Wisdom?

If you are struggling with the point Solomon is trying to make through Proverbs, here it is plain as day:

The Wisdom of God is very, very, very, very, very important!

It is so important, we are told in today’s passage that wisdom should be considered our sister and understanding our close relative.

In almost every family, it is they who know “you” best. Whether it is your parents, your siblings, or your wife, only your best friend might know you better (which is why it is good for your spouse to be your best friend).

What God Says About You

God has several things to say about you:

God created you and knows you better than anyone else in all of Creation. God also has your back:

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:13

God’s wisdom and understanding is so great that it can save us from any temptation – whether it is a woman, a man, food, entertainment, drugs, alcohol, etcetera – because God knows what we can handle, what we are unable to handle, and the best way for us to escape when our own stupidity leads us into whatever confronts us.

Heavenly Father, grant us your wisdom and understanding that we may escape temptation. Give us the wisdom to live righteously and the understanding to know when we are tempted. Show us the way out when we become trapped by our own desires. Above all, may we be used to bring glory to Your Name!


Write It Down

Proverbs 7:1-3

“My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.”

iProverbs?

If gadgets had been around in Solomon’s day perhaps the book of Proverbs would have been marketed as an application that could be installed on a computer or smartphone, like an application that could flash up important reminders throughout the day, or even wake its owner with a Proverb for the day. You could argue that Proverbial Thought goes some way to meeting the idea of an electronic version of Proverbs.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) Solomon had no other choice but to write it all down. The problem with this rather old-fashioned method is the need to emphasize certain teachings to ensure that the message is heeded and remembered.

Graphic Reminders

Proverbs 7 contains some rather graphic reminders about immorality, apparently directed at young men but equally applicable to men and women of any age. The first three verses provide instructions on how to use the wisdom contained within the verses that follow. The real danger is that you might not like what you read in Proverbs 7, or you may think that Proverbs 7 does not apply to you. It does! Danger is all around and we need to be sure that we recognize dangerous situations, and then do our best to avoid them.

Solomon is not making suggestions that we may choose to ignore if we so wish. He makes it very clear that these are commands or orders that are to be followed. While society may challenge such rules, the wisdom expressed in Proverbs is essential for society to function as it should. These are words of life (verse 2). Immorality does not enhance life, but brings pain, hurt, self-loathing. Look back in history at how immorality triggered the downfall of ancient civilizations. Why should ours be any different?

Nothing has changed since Proverbs 7 was written. Take these words, these instructions for life, and write them deep within your heart as Solomon intended. Please do not be offended at the posts that follow as they seek to apply ancient truths to a modern world where they are still relevant and vitally important.